In plain, unpretentious language, with brutal honesty, Ron Koertge can meld violence, love, human ugliness, joy, and modern depravity into a short lyric that makes us laugh out loud or socks us in the gut. His images arrive in giant clown shoes - cigars the size of Florida, the plastic man's counter-length arms - or neatly packaged in carefully observed detail, as he writes of the "black little hearts" of ants or an ape's "dark and leathery breast." Through every poem, there runs a constant and sincere humanity, a voice that laughs at itself, often goads us a bit, but always stuns and enlightens us when we discover something of ourselves gambling with the crowd at the racetrack, driving from the parking lot of the Mexican restaurant, or shambling with the distraught parent leaving the hospital.
In Making Love to Roget's Wife, Ron Koertge offers his best work from twenty-three years and a dozen earlier collections. With twenty-five new poems, and over eighty from previous books, this selection reawakens us to the presence of a superbly honed comic voice.… (more)